Used Fiat Ulysse 2003 - 2006 review

Category: MPV

It's a fine MPV, but Citroen's C8 offers more kit

Fiat Ulysse (03 - 06)
  • Fiat Ulysse (03 - 06)
  • Fiat Ulysse (03 - 06)
Used Fiat Ulysse 2003 - 2006 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Fiat Ulysse MPV like?

The Ulysse's dash has a modern, minimalist design, complete with centrally mounted dials, but it's very much a typical MPV otherwise. Most versions can carry seven, although there was an eight-seater option, and top-of-the-range cars have six individual captain's chairs. In each model, all but the front pair of seats are removable.

Every model also has sliding rear doors, which are a real help when getting in and out of the back in tight parking spots. However, where the virtually identical Citroen C8 and Peugeot 807 tend to come with these doors electrically operated - useful when your hands are full - these were only a cost option on the Ulysse.


It's a fine MPV, but Citroen's C8 offers more kit

  • Its diesel engines are refined and some versions have eight seats
  • Luggage space is poor considering the size of the car and the electric sliding doors aren't fitted to all models

Given the car's size and shape, it's surprisingly refined and good to drive: the ride, which is on the firm side around town, settles nicely at speed; and, while you're always aware of its bulk when tackling corners, the car is reasonably controlled, with only limited body roll.

Ownership cost

What used Fiat Ulysse MPV will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Fiat Ulysse MPV?

The Ulysse depreciates quite heavily, making it a tempting second-hand buy, but it didn't sell as well as the near-identical Citroen C8 and Peugeot 807, so used examples are harder to find.

As long as nothing major goes wrong, it should be affordable to maintain. The rates charged by Fiat dealers are on a par with most rival manufacturers, and independent Fiat specialists can undercut them by almost 40%.

Fuel economy is pretty much what you'd expect for this sort of car, with the petrol engine returning 31.0mpg on the combined cycle, the 2.0-litre diesel averaging 40.4 and the 2.2 diesel 38.2mpg.

However, insurance bills are low for a large MPV, with the Dynamic petrol car attracting a group 10 rating and all the other models sitting in group 11.

Our recommendations

Which used Fiat Ulysse MPV should I buy?

There was a 136bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, but the two fine turbodiesels - a 109bhp 2.0-litre and a 128bhp 2.2 - make more sense because of their superior fuel economy and smooth power delivery. However, while the extra low-down pulling power of the 2.2 is useful, it costs a fair bit more, so put the 2.0-litre at the top of your shopping list.

The basic Dynamic model has more than enough kit for most people, so we think there's no point in spending any more. Climate control, a CD player and a small fridge for keeping cans of drink cool are all fitted as standard, and the safety kit includes driver, passenger and side airbags for those in the front, and full-length curtain airbags that protect all three rows of seats.

If that really isn't enough, you could step up to Eleganza trim, which brings dual-zone climate control, sat-nav, alloy wheels, reversing sensors and a mirror that lets you keep an eye on the kids in the back, while top-trim Prestigio cars come with leather upholstery and a CD multichanger.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Fiat Ulysse MPV?